July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session
The AGEP Engineering Alliance brings together Georgia Institute of Technology, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, William Marsh Rice University, and the University of Colorado Colorado Springs to develop, implement, study, evaluate, and disseminate a model focused on the career development of historically underrepresented minority (URM) engineering postdoctoral scholars who eventually successfully transition into tenure-track faculty positions. Funding for this Alliance was procured from The National Science Foundation (NSF) Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program (award numbers: 1821298, 1821019, 1821052, and 1821008). Presently, approximately 10% of postdoctoral scholars (Yadav et al., 2020) and 6% of engineering professors (Roy, 2019) identify as racial/ethnic minorities, and this disproportionality will continue until URMs are more effectively engaged and embraced in the discipline (NSF, 2018). To address increasing the effective engagement and embracement of URM postdoctoral scholars, the AGEP Engineering Alliance project team employs an asset-based approach to meeting the career development needs of the project participants by offering both prescribed and customized personal and professional development sessions.
This poster details survey evidence of the effectiveness attributed to the sessions presented between 2019-2020 from the point of view of the 11 postdoctoral scholars participating in the project. Sessions included topics on the tenure-track faculty hiring process; expectations for research, teaching, and service in academia; and more nuanced, personal topics such as parenting as a postdoctoral scholar/early-career faculty member. Survey results indicate nearly 100% of participants rated the sessions as relevant to their academic career intentions and beneficial to their academic career planning process. Additionally, results indicate the postdoctoral scholars found conversations amongst themselves and with the AGEP project team members to be valuable as they were able to use the session time to connect, network, and quell individual anxieties as they embarked on tenure-track faculty job searches. Participants also report feeling more informed on teaching responsibilities, academic entrepreneurship prospects, start-up packages, the importance of networking, and pursuing employment at various institutional types because of the sessions. They also recommend additional sessions involving conversations with URM faculty in which they share their tenure-track hiring and faculty experiences; ways to create and optimize mentoring relationships; grant-funding advice; personal branding; effectively managing a lab; and additional guidance on hiring, such as developing well-crafted application packages, preparing for interviews, and negotiating start-up packages. Suggestions on improving the sessions include facilitating more structured rather than organic discussions and meeting more frequently to leverage the project opportunities offered.
McCoy, T. M., & Haynes, C. L., & Higgs, C. F., & Hicks, I. V., & Clark, C. J., & Arnett, N. Y., & Mendez, S. L., & Conley, V. M., & Stuhlsatz, M. (2021, July), The AGEP Engineering Alliance: A Model to Advance Historically URM Postdoctoral Scholars and Early-Career Faculty in Engineering Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37836
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